Real Estate Watch: Tips for when hiring a home inspector

Real Estate Watch: Tips for when hiring a home inspector

I want to take a moment and say I am remiss in not mentioning anything about Memorial Day, the previous week;  so I am regretfully sorry and would like to thank all our veterans, and current service men and women for keeping our country safe and free for all to enjoy!

You’ve been looking for months, maybe years or if really lucky a few weeks or days for that special home, condo or co-op to finally settle down in with your family, wife, girlfriend or significant partner.  

Your agent has negotiated for you, provided all the necessary documents, bank commitment letter, proof of funds, tax returns, pay stubs and credit scores.  You’re exhausted, but you are still not done.  You have to now hire an inspector (not for a co-op or condo), before signing your contract, to make sure your special home is not a “Money Pit” (from the 1986 Steven Spielberg movie with Tom Hanks(Walter) and Shelley Long (Anna)).  

Walter and Anna  purchase a dilapidated old house with the assistance of their real estate agent “friend” from a little old man, but did not hire an inspector to check their purchase, because they thought they were getting a super deal.  They figured that they would spend some money and go thru the renovation process.  

Little did they know what they had to endure, especially with the contractor, Curly (actor, Philip Bosco) that they hired.  

If you want a belly laugh, download the movie and you will be laughing through most of the movie.  

But in reality, it’s not funny at all, when you consider that spending a measly $350-$550 to hire a professional and licensed (must be in New York State) home inspector or engineer, to check your home will go a long way to ensure that what you are buying will not turn into a “money pit.”

As I mentioned last week, referrals from friends as to whom they hired, would be a start.  

You can also ask your agent for a recommendation, assuming you have full trust and credibility in their expertise, knowledge and trustworthiness.  

First thing first, ask about their fees and what they will do.  

Then ask them what they will be checking out.  The following is what they should be analyzing:

1. Roof

2. Foundation

3. Electrical box and outlets

4. Boiler/heat/radiators, forced air, radiant heat, etc.

5. Gas connections/stove

6. Checking Water from faucets and shower (cold and hot) as well as leaks

7. Attic area for insulation, water leaks. (functioning of attic fan, if applicable)

8. Windows and air leaks, where there might be heat loss

9. He might advise to check for permits and C.O’s (Certificates of Occupancy) on rooms, bathrooms, decks or any types of structures that may not be original. This could potentially affect your ability to get a mortgage on that specific home.

10. Your inspector will possibly either print out your report on the spot, if he has the technology to do this or within 24-48 hours.  

Then you an go over it with your attorney and see if there are any major flaws in the home that would cause a major expense after purchasing.

Remember, the home inspector works for you and not the seller, so they will disclose whatever is right and not right about the home.  

I can assure you, it will be the best insurance to protect you from falling into a “Money Pit.”


Philip A. Raices is the owner of Turn Key Real Estate in Great Neck. He can be reached by email: [email protected] or by Cell, (516) 647-4289 to answer any of your questions.   To search for property, see what your home is worth or homes that have sold in your area, go to:  WWW.Li-RealEstate.Com   If you desire a Free No Obligation CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for the value of your home, call me.

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